Here’s how long the average couple dates before getting married

After dealing with the fact that denim-clad Britney and Justin didn’t end up together, we began to question the idea of happily ever after. But modern-day courtship and the rise of more successful dating apps is giving us hope again. When it comes to love, romance, and the average time couples spend dating before getting married, things have been changing. Modern couples are creating their own rules when it comes to weddings and marriage. They’re spending less on the over-the-top rings and grandiose weddings, and according to one study, they’re investing more time into getting to know each other before walking down the aisle.

How long to date before marriage:

In 2017, Bridebook, a popular wedding planning website, conducted a 4,000-person survey that revealed the average couple spends 4.9 years in a relationship before getting married.

This half-decade breaks down as 1.4 years (17 months) of dating before moving in together, 1.83 years (22 months) of living together before an official engagement, then spending another 1.67 years (20 months) engaged before getting married. We’re also getting married a lot later in life now than the generation before us. The average first-time bride is now 30.8 and groom 32.7 years old, compared with 22.6 and 24.6 years old in 1971, respectively.

"Figuring out if the person you’re dating is a suitable partner for marriage may take time, says Katie Dames, a relationship expert and women's health consultant. "One of the biggest deciding factors in whether someone is a suitable life partner are shared values. Depending on the division in backgrounds between the individuals in the couple, it may take some time to understand if their values match up. This could possibly take years, where individuals from similar backgrounds would know more quickly that their value systems are compatible," she says.

Additionally, because people are waiting, it means they’ll probably be more experienced with dealing with long-term relationships. The average bride and groom will have had two serious relationships before settling down. The study also revealed that this generation no longer feels compelled to tie the knot, unlike many of our parents, with 83% saying they felt no pressure to marry and 84% having discussed it before the proposal.

In Dames’s opinion, the study also likely shows an almost 5 year waiting period because most couples are waiting for their financial situation to be better before deciding to get married, something that wasn’t as big of an issue for boomers.

And if couples are spending more time getting to know each other before committing to spending “forever” together, divorce rates will likely decline. Bridebook founder Hamish Shephard said,

“Marriages are becoming stronger than ever, relationships happier and more committed than ever, and couples more independent and consensual in their decisions than ever.

This sounds like fantastic news to us! Longer lasting, happy unions are definitely worth celebrating.

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